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The Automobiliac Proposes: Vol. #1

I am a frustrated car designer.  I will admit it right now.  When I started my design education, I had dreams of Pininfarina or Bertone spinning in my head.  But over time, I realized I wasn't cut out for that and that my strengths lay in other aspects of the design profession.  I have no regrets about my choices, but once in a while I get the urge to play armchair car designer when I see a detail that really bugs the hell out of me.  In an onging series called "The Automobiliac Proposes" I will put my money where my mouth is and try to show how I might have done it differently.  Feel free to hate on me, but sometimes I just gotta try...

For our first edition we have the spectacular new Ferrari 458 Italia.  It has garnered a mixed reception for its unusual headlight clusters.  I find them quite striking and in fact I think the front end is really well executed.  The car has lithe, pleasing lines and athletic proportions.  The detail that's an unmitigated disaster in my opinion is actually the tail light clusters.  They look so stuck on and cartoonish.  They look as if the real designer of the car at Pininfarina put his pen down, and a manager at Ferrari took out his Montblanc and said "don''t forget...at Ferrari we have round tail lights," and promptly drew them on.  This sad treatment is also echoed on the California, which means it is someone''s idea of a "family look" for the Prancing Horse.  I'll leave the California for another day when I am feeling ambitious because there is so much wrong with that car it looks like a GM concept car from the early 90s.

The 458 Italia on the other hand is near perfect, except for those round tail lights.  For my proposal, I merely reconnected the taut lines the designer already created, which were previously interrupted by the round lights.  Inside the rear vents, I have placed some slim LED tail lamps.  I didn't go crazy detailing them to look real, but I think you get the idea.

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Reader Comments (7)

AFTER is much better. Ferraris have been plagued with dopey-looking tail lights for a while now -- it's time to move on.

February 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWalter Jamieson Jr.

Good idea w/taillights......didn't realize they looked (originally) sooo dopey......!!! But the rest of the car is AWESOME......MD

February 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichaelDeane

Hi Bradley,

Just been going through your whole blog and noticing that you and I have very similar design tastes!! Both this rendering and the later Pininfarina Duetto concept rendering addressed the same two problems I've had with the original designs.

Nice work - love the blog.

- Jeff B. "sfalfa" on the BB

April 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff B.

Thanks a lot Jeff!

April 2, 2010 | Registered CommenterBradley Price

This addresses one of my biggest gripes with the design of the 458. I’ve been completely unable to get over how awkward the taillights look, even in the flesh. Why didn’t you make it to Pininfarina and Bertone again?

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeterD
This is very good change, don't underestimate your self friend. You have skills of car designer. if you have hard decision maker then you do every thing ....
May 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternew car prices
Very nicely done and impressively clean and elegant look. I am working on my Superlite SLC and just not happy with my tail lights on it and ponder what would look better. This is good inspiration to keep it simple to look good. If you have thoughts on a slight redesign that would flow and be part of the design please let me know.

Here is the stock look


Here is on where someone put on some Lotus Elise lights so it is a little better, but hmm.
January 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTroy Truglio

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